Why do models never smile? It's a question we usually ask ourselves when we watch a catalog or a fashion show on TV.
Several fashion models told the AFP news agency that the main reason is to go unnoticed so that the public's attention will be focused only on the clothes presented.
"I posed for everyone, but I was never asked to smile. Honestly, I would feel weird if I were asked to do it," said Nigerian-born model Ty Ogunkoya.
Her statements are in line with those of her colleague Matthieu Villot: "What they want is the presentation of our clothes and not our faces. If we smile, the focus is on our faces and not on our clothes."
To get into the role, some of these professionals imagine negative episodes: "When I walk, I think of something sad, like when my cat died," a Slovak model explained.
This Wasn't Always the Case
However, according to fashion historian and theorist Lydia Kamitsis, the serious appearance of models was not always present on the catwalk. It's a relatively recent trend.
"In the 1960s, when collections began to be featured in parades, models often smiled, laughed and even danced to the music," the fashion historian commented.
Expressionless faces appeared after the success of '90s supermodels such as Cindy Crawford and Elle Macpherson. "They had a personality of their own," Lydia Kamitsis recalls.
Leyla Neri, director of the clothing design department at the prestigious Parsons Paris school, also explains that with the "emancipation of women and the arrival of designers like Yves Saint Laurent, a more androgynous look has emerged."
Today, the expert pointed out that designers "no longer see models as an ideal of beauty," they simply seek to present their new clothes on the catwalk and claim that "faces and bodies be as neutral as possible."
"Why are they all sad?"
In 2015, Spanish blogger Alicia Santiago addressed this issue by analyzing the depressed appearance of the models that appeared in the fashion catalog of the Zara online store.
"Why are they all sad? Why do they all look resigned as if they were taken to the slaughterhouse?", the blogger asked in a post that had a great impact.
On the same line were the results of the project Niños vs Moda - fashion seen through the eyes of children, launched by visual artist Yolanda Dominguez.
It was an experiment in which a group of children was asked to describe the fashion editorials viewed on the screen.
The 8-year-old girls and boys who participated in this project stated that they see the models as "sick, drunk and dead", the site verne.elpais.com reports.